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Keywords:

  • family burden;
  • group therapy;
  • psychoeducation;
  • schizophrenia

Accessible summary

  • This randomized-controlled trial investigated the effect of group psychoeducation therapy on family burden in caregivers of Iranian patients with schizophrenia.
  • Results of this study on 71 caregivers of patients with schizophrenia showed that a 4-week group psychoeducational programme was significantly effective in reducing family burden by more than one third.
  • Findings showed that group psychoeducational programme for caregiver and family of patients with schizophrenia is beneficial for reducing family burden.

Abstract

This study was aimed at assessing the impact of group psychoeducation therapy on family burden in caregivers of Iranian patients with schizophrenia during the acute phase of the disease. Using a randomized-controlled trial design, 71 caregivers of patients with schizophrenia were randomly assigned to either a 4-week group psychoeducational programme (n = 36) or the control group (n = 35). Family burden was assessed by Family Burden Index Schedule (FBIS) at the beginning, and after a month of psychoeducation therapy as a follow-up. FBIS assesses family burden in six different dimensions with score ranging from 0 to 48, higher scores indicating higher burdens. At baseline mean, FBIS score was not significantly different between the cases and the controls. After the intervention, the mean total FBIS score was significantly lower in the case group compared with the control group (P < 0.001). In the intervention group, FBIS score change was significant through the study in all dimensions as well as the total score (P < 0.001). A significant reduction in family burden has been achieved by implementing group psychoeducational programmes for inpatients with acute phase schizophrenia in Iranian population.